Landlords and letting agents are reminded to protect a tenant’s deposit in a Government-approved scheme, following changes to the Localism Act that came into force on 6th April.
Tenancy Deposit Protection Changes
Landlords are now given 30 days to put the deposit into a scheme after it is received from a tenant. This is an increase from the previous 14 days. These changes concern England and Wales.
Landlord must also provide the Prescribed Information and Deposit Protection Certificate to their tenant, as evidence of protection. This should also be given within the 30-day timeframe.
The alterations have been made to avoid a legal loophole that allowed landlords to successfully appeal against penalties for not protecting a deposit.
If a landlord does not protect their tenant’s deposit, then they could face court and a fine of between one and three times the cost of the deposit. They will also be unable to apply for a possession order with a section 21 notice, until the case is resolved.
Chairman of the National Landlords Association (NLA), David Salusbury, says: “These changes are helpful to landlords who now have extra time to ensure any deposit their take is property protected.
“But they must make sure they do so within the 30 day time limit, as changes to the law now make penalties strictly enforceable.”1
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive of deposit protection scheme mydeposits, comments: “It is vitally important that landlords, letting agents and tenants are aware of tenancy deposit protection and these changes in the legislation.
“With my deposits, landlords can legally protect a tenant’s deposit and keep it in their own account.
“It also gives the tenant peace of mind that their deposit money is protected with a Government-approved scheme.”1